A study released today by CitySocialising, the social network that brings people together in the real world, has found that it takes 64% of adults three months or more to make a single real world friend, even though online they may gather several hundred in the same period.
CitySocialising asked over 3500 young professionals in major UK cities for their opinions of meeting people. The site found that thirty six percent of those surveyed had moved cities in the last two years and of those, 86% had found meeting new people and making new friends “slow and difficult”. Of the 64% respondents who were local, longer term residents, 55% said that they struggled to meet new friends outside of their social circle.
When asked why, 33% expressed difficulty knowing where to go to meet new friends, whilst 27% said the biggest barrier was finding people who shared the same interests. Twelve per cent of those surveyed said that people were often “too cliquey” and therefore not open to opening up to new friendships.
The CitySocialsing study found that two thirds (69%) met new friends through work, whilst 57% said their main source of new friends was through existing friendships. Thirty six percent had met new friends through special interests and classes however just 22% had converted digital friendships into real world ones.
“That’s why sites such as CitySocialising are proving increasingly popular,” says Sanchita Saha, 32 year old CEO and founder of CitySocialising. “We’re meeting loads of people online but failing miserably in converting them to real world friends who we can really share and enjoy our lives with. Online relationships are a poor substitute for the real thing, and it seems from our study that barriers such as knowing where to go and how to meet people could be easily overcome if we simply took the plunge and crossed the digital / real world divide.”
With its focus on the internet used to meet new real world friends and organise your social diary, CitySocialising aims to help address the issues of isolation that many single, urban professionals now face. Launched in London in 2007, CitySocialising is now active in 19 UK cities with over 50,000 members and over 500 socials per month.